Eamon RyanFormer coalition minister Eamon Ryan has been elected leader of the Green Party / Comhaontas Glas, which operates both in the Republic and in Northern Ireland. Ryan defeated Kilkenny County Councillor Malcolm Noonan and party activist Phil Kearney.

In accepting the leadership, Ryan said:

“Today we set out on the road to recovery for the Green Party in Ireland. We need to win back the trust and support of the Irish people,” he said. “A greener future makes sense for our country, a future where we develop our resources more wisely, share our wealth more equitably and play our part in tackling the global environmental challenges we all face.”

“Our leadership election has been a positive experience. We have started to learn lessons from our mistakes and achievements in Government and understand the need to protect what we did achieve.”

“We wish the new Government well, and will be supportive in whatever way we can to get our country out of our immediate economic crisis. However, it is already clear that the new administration has little understanding of how a green approach could set us on a more sustainable path.”

“The shelving of Local Government reforms, climate legislation and the various smart economy initiatives that we had ready to go, makes it clear that the Green Party is needed more than ever.”

Eamon Ryan served as TD for Dublin South from 2002 until the party’s Dáil group was wiped out in the 2011 election. He was Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources in the Fianna Fáil – Green coalition government from 2007 to 2011. He is 47 years old and married with 4 children.

Read Peter McColl on the challenge facing Eamon Ryan and his party here.